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Secondary students need to brush up on math and Spanish, tests found. Secondary students need to brush up on math and Spanish, tests found.

Math, language tests produce poor results

Only 5% of students in final year of secondary school were sufficiently proficient in math

Testing of secondary students has produced some dismal results in mathematics and Spanish.

Only 5.1% of students in their final year of secondary school had achieved a satisfactory command of math and 8.3% had done so in Spanish.

The head of the evaluation unit of the National Education System explained that the 2017 Planea test was taken by 131,662 students in 3,398 public and private schools throughout the country.

Jorge Hernández Uralde said the results reflect fundamental learning handicaps. He also noted that there was low student participation in the states of Chiapas, Michoacán and Oaxaca.

Hernández described the math results as alarming. He explained that 64.5% of the students tested had trouble solving basic operations such as adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing and using decimals.

Private-school students achieved better results than their public-school counterparts: 16% of the former had achieved a sufficient mastery of mathematics compared to only 4.1% for the latter.

The results were worse for distance education students and those in indigenous communities.

Only 3.6% of students in the telesecundaria schools had sufficiently mastered math, while just 0.4% of indigenous students had done so.

In language and communication, just over one-quarter of students at private institutions had obtained a satisfactory level, but only 7.3% of their peers from public schools had done so. The figures were 3.6% for telesecundaria students and 1.1% for those in indigenous communities.

Hernández said the results show that poverty and marginalization, child labor and substandard schools are having a negative impact on education. “We are not meeting the goals, and the low achievement levels are similar to those obtained in 2015,” he said.

The only states that showed any advances were Puebla, Coahuila and Sonora. Meanwhile, political conflicts in Oaxaca, Michoacán and Guerrero had a negative affect on education.

Source: Milenio (sp)

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